The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island has awarded scholarships to eight students who are descended from African slaves.
At a Juneteenth celebration on Sunday at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, the Right Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano, bishop of Long Island, awarded $10,000 scholarships to eight college students with records of academic excellence and commitments to their communities.
Among the winners were Marlene McKinney of Dix Hills; Isaac T. Davis of Arverne, Queens; Nathan Alleyne of Garden City; Kayla Harris of Elmont; Huntah Finnie of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn; Krystyn Haney of Valley Stream; Faith Steele of Cambria Heights, Queens; and Noah Fields of Holtsville.
The awards were the first scholarships from The Barbara C. Harris Scholars Program that was created this year by the recently formed diocesan Reparations Committee, for Black, African American, or Caribbean American descendants of enslaved people who are pursuing higher education or vocational training.
The committee received 161 scholarship applications, which were narrowed down over the course of three rigorous rounds of evaluations, according to Penny Allen Grinage, chair of the committee. She added, “Our goal is to continue and to expand the program each year, to help reduce financial obstacles that have prevented descendants of enslaved people from pursuing higher education.”
A diverse group of 200 from across the diocese attended the ceremonies. The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, was the guest speaker.
Two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) founded by The Episcopal Church were also each awarded $10,000. Ronnie Hopkins, president and CEO of Voorhees University, South Carolina, and the Rev. Hershey Mallette, dean of the chapel and spiritual life at St. Augustine’s University, North Carolina, accepted the awards on behalf of their institutions.
“Investing in these dedicated scholars who have a heart for their communities is a way of giving life to our prayer and desire to become an anti-racist church. We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to their bright futures,” Provenzano said. “The scholarships are sincere and visible expressions of our calling to love God and each other.”
Rotary Club Scholarships
The Rotary Club of Huntington has awarded its annual “Service Above Self” scholarships to five Huntington High School graduating seniors.